LEGAZPI CITY – The number of local and foreign visitors arriving in Albay province has lately doubled as many want to witness Mayon Volcano’s increasing volcanic activities.
Night photos of the volcano’s glowing summit because of the red-hot lava flowing from the crater have been circulating on social media. On June 8, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed Mayon under Alert Level 3.
Despite the risks entailed, more visitors have been arriving in the province, prompting the Albay Provincial Tourism, Culture and the Arts Office (PTCAO) to recommend viewing sites for those who want to watch and document the volcanic activities to protect them from any hazards.
In an interview on Tuesday, Dorothy Colle, Albay PTCAO chief, said to ensure the safety of visitors, the viewing sites have been designated beyond the 8-km permanent danger zone (PDZ).
One such viewing site, Colle said, is the Cagsawa Ruins which normally recorded 152 to 200 visitors per day. Today, however, as a Mayon viewing point, it gets at least 500 visitors per day. For the tourist arrival, we need to verify first the different accommodations in Albay since when we say, tourist, they need at least 24 hours stay,” she explaineed.
For the Legazpi City area, the viewing sites are the Legazpi Boulevard (16.1-km from Mayon); Sawangan Park (14.7-km); Legazpi Highlands (15.2-km); Kalayaan Park (13.2-km); and Our Lady of Salvacion Giant Statue (11.1-km).
In Daraga town — Cagsawa Ruins Park (10.38-km); Farm Plate (14.38-km); Daraga Church (12.01-km); and National Museum (10.18-km). In Canalig town — Solong Eco Park (16.03- km); Quituinan Hill (9.76-km); and Quitinday Greenhills (18.7-km).
In Ligao City — Mt. Masaraga Campsite (9.84-km); Paayahayan sa Bulod (10-km); Kawa Kawa Hill, Bambusetum and Divine Mercy Monastery Church (19.7-km); Hobbit Hill (9.79-km); and Ilah Nature Park (9.82-km).
Colle said these viewing sites are safe spots that give visitors a clear view of Mayon Volcano.
“Safety first for our visitors and tourists. Aside from viewing Mayono Volcano, Albay has so many tourist destinations that they can enjoy like beaches, waterfalls and historical places,” she said.